OPL board deals with change, hears complaint

Beth Rumsey
Staff Writer

Change orders for the construction of the Milan Library were considered by the Osgood Public Library at the regular meeting on Tuesday, June 22. One change included a metal display case not authorized by the board.

Board members received comments from patrons who disliked the case. Also, board members did not recall authorizing the purchase of a display case for the library.

An incompatible dimming system for the lights resulted in the second change order. According to the engineer for the project, the lighting system and the dimming system were purchased from two different manufacturers and prevents the automatic dimming of the main room when there is plenty of natural lighting which would save in energy costs.

Although the cost of the change order would come from the contingency fund and not raise the cost of the project, the board explained that they feel the engineering company should pay for the cost due to their experience with this type of lighting and therefore should have known what type of systems are compatible.

The motion to not pay the cost for the lighting change order was unanimously approved. A quote for a new display case will be presented to the board at a later date.

John Peetz, Osgood, presented information regarding the library tax rate for Decatur County, noting that it was much lower than the current rate for Osgood. Attorney Larry Eaton explained to Peetz that the library in Decatur County is a county library, with a higher tax base.

The libraries in Ripley County are divided into districts with a small amount of people paying the taxes, making the rate higher.

Eaton explained that there is no changing the tax rate. “There’s no turning back, the debt has to be paid,” he noted.

The libraries are used daily by students and seniors. “They keep kids off the streets,” Eaton explained. “Sure there’s a cost to the town, but the town is getting value for their money.”

He further stated that a library is good for a town’s economy and encourages businesses to locate within the town.

Peetz has expressed his displeasure in the high library tax rate, which has caused his total tax dollar amount to increase, to the library board in the past.

According to Eaton, the Milan library construction project was planned by financial planners with the budget receiving approval from the state.

The land for the library was donated and grants were received to help offset the cost of the project with the balance of about $1 million funded by bonds.

In other business, the board approved the purchase of a new updated server; the reciprocal borrowing agreement will end on September 1 and those out of the OPL district will be required to purchase an out of district library card.

All board members were in attendance. OPL board meetings are held the third Tuesday of each month starting at 7 p.m. at the Osgood Public Library meeting room.